UHI Students invite you to throw your ideas into the SOUP

Student-inspired Moray SOUP is a new slant on participatory or crowd funding.

A VERY DIFFERENT METHOD of Crowdfunding is set to hit Moray next week when students at Moray College UHI run their ‘Moray Soup’ session in Elgin.

Business, administration and accounting students are being the initiative which has drawn support from such as the Moray Chamber of Commerce, Business Gateway, Highland Opportunity, YPI Scotland and tsiMORAY.

Moray Soup is a live, unplugged method of crowdfunding that not only raises vital funds for local projects but also provides an opportunity for people to come together, listen to music, enjoy the work of local artists and of course, to eat.

Initially inspired by a research group based in Chicago, the method was set up to explore new approaches to arts administration and funding. It was inspired by a group of friends based in Detroit to set up a dinner to try to create the right atmosphere for collaboration, empowerment and the bringing together of a community.

While originally set up to explore and support new art practices the method quickly expanded to include ideas and projects about land use, urban agriculture and small business set ups.

The concept is that people come together to share food and hear people’s ideas – everyone makes a donation – the suggested amount is £5 per person but anyone can contribute more if they want.

For this, they get to listen to ideas, discuss and debate them, eat and then vote on the idea they like the best. The person or people whose idea gets the most votes wins the pot of money donated at the door and for January’s event, this will be 100% of all the money donated as all of the food for the event has been sponsored by Tesco, Costa, local farmers and other producers.

Projects being presented at the first Moray SOUP include the Rainbow Nursery garden, Elgin Youth Café’s twinning with Melkbos Care Centre in South Africa, Defibrillators for Moray and a Moray Film club.

Live music will be provided by musician Wilson Noble, who has been awarded the “busking zone” for this event after applying for the slot in November. Wilson commented: “I am delighted to have been chosen to do this and to be a part of a local crowd funding event with a difference.”

Artists from local group FLUD, based at MC3 Creative Space will also have displays and craft tables at the event for adults and children to see and try out.

Chair of the planning board of Moray SOUP is Jackie Andrews, who said: “This will be a night of fun, music, art and community. It will raise some funds for a local project or business and the initiative provides our students with an opportunity to practice what they are learning and to support local enterprise.”

Moray SOUP will take place in Moray College UHI from 5pm to 8pm on January 18 and is open to anyone (young children should be accompanied by adults). Anyone can submit ideas for consideration (ideas must be submitted in advance to be considered).

Projects can be for anything from small business start-ups, school projects, art and community initiatives, clubs, societies and charities. There are no parameters. Up to four ideas are selected in advance for presentation on the night.

For more information or to submit your idea for presentation at the next Moray SOUP, contact allane.hay.moray@uhi.ac.uk.